Unclutter your mind and workspace with these 8 office organization tips from blogger Steve Asbell of The Rainforest Garden!
Fatherhood certainly has made working from home harder, but it’s also sharpened my focus and made me even more productive. It even helped motivate us to redo the home office and art studio. So we bought some desks and drawers, made a few trips to Tuesday Morning, and devised an organizational system that truly works.
So, take it from a guy with ADD who works from home and has to write and illustrate with his rambunctious toddler for most of the day. Whatever you hope to accomplish in your home office or art studio, organization will make those goals happen. Here are 8 ways, some creative and some not, to organize your home office.
Organizing junk is important to anyone, but in my case, I needed to keep everything bite-sized, pointy or breakable out of my son’s reach. We already had a hanging system, (Curtain rods mounted on the wall are just as effective!) but it really became useful when I added a bag of shower hooks to the mix. Used alone, they act as carabiner clips and can hold USB drives, scissors, and anything else with a loop or opening.
But then I tried something weird, and it worked. The fridge bin organizers that I bought to organize my drawers also had openings on the side, so I used the shower hooks to turn them into hanging organizers! I’m really proud of that one. There were lots of other things at Tuesday Morning that could be used like this, but that lime green color was perfect for blending in with the wall. Oh, and they can be used with dry erase markers. Who needs sticky notes?
Organize Art Supplies
Not everyone has art supplies, but those of you artists out there know how important it is to have them organized well. In my case, I had to organize my colored pencils so that I wouldn’t waste precious seconds searching for the right colors. Also, with all of them in one place by my side, it would be easier to keep my son from putting an eye out. But mostly I just wanted to see how pretty they looked when arranged in these gorgeous bamboo organizers. My markers needed to be kept away from my son, so they hang in cups over my desk.
Manage your Time
What use is an organized office if you have no idea what you’re supposed to do in there? I used to use my phone for to-do lists, but a real dry erase board makes it easier to remember and more rewarding to check off. I like this one because it fits in with the rest of my modern looking office and brings a pop of that green across the room.
Gather your Thoughts
Bulletin boards may seem outdated in this digital age, but I can assure you that they’re not. Seeing reminders and ideas in real time puts them right in the front of your mind. A clipboard/pinboard happens to fit right between my picture ledges, and is a convenient place to temporarily place receipts until I file them away. As you can see here, however, it’s also a wonderful way to visualize my illustrations before I put them all together in Photoshop. Best of all, they stay away from toddler hands.
Organize your Paperwork
I hate file cabinets and almost never use them. If an important document goes in that drawer, it may never see the light of day again. Keeping clients organized in my head can be a challenge, but having physical folders to represent each one helps me keep up. It also helps when the folders have different patterns, which sets them apart from one another better. When I’m working on a particular project, I take out its file to help keep me focused.
Put Down the Phone
It’s hard to get anything done when you’re staring at a phone or constantly checking it for retweets and emails. I don’t even want to know how much time I’ve wasted on my phone, but it still needed to be kept within easy reach for important notifications and phone calls. Well, this Philips iPhone docking speaker does just that, all while charging my phone and playing music with amazing sound while I draw. Since it doubles as an easel, I also use it to display photo references while I draw.
Take Charge of Tech
I’ve always loved getting work done at coffee shops, libraries and airports, not just because they’re an escape from distraction, but because it’s so easy to charge my laptop and other devices while I work, without crawling on the ground for an outlet. Since I do a lot of work around the house from my phone, I run the batteries down quickly and resort to battery packs when my phone fizzles out. But then I forget to recharge the battery packs, end up with charging cables all over the place, and there I am crawling around on the ground for an outlet.
Ta da! These sleek and beautiful Quirky power strips are beautiful enough to put on the desktop and can be used to charge my laptop while I work. I also placed Velcro on the back of the desk and around my cords so that the plug is always where I left it. They come equipped with plug-free battery packs that are as simple as popping in and out as needed.
Entertain the Kid
When another Tuesday Morning contributor’s blog post showed an elaborate workaround to entertain his kids with another computer, I thought it was silly. Now that I have a son of my own, I know that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since my little coworker is fascinated with rearranging everything in my drawers, I gave him his very own drawer where he can play with his Duplo set while I work. Since he also likes to type on my keyboard when I’m not looking, I let him use my Bluetooth keyboard.
My thoughts are no longer clouded, relatively speaking, and I can work without worrying about the safety of my son. As of 2016, I have organized not only my office, but my life as a result. Work is fun again!
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